Thursday, 18 October 2012

OUGD501 // Lecture 2 // The Gaze and the Media

according to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome - men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked'
Berger 1972

The last sentence is often overlooked because the last sentence is M&S understood, he is meaning that it is difficult for women not to think as themselves as being looked at, because women are used so much in the media, compared to men. Women are constantly surveying idea of femininity.

Hans memling
Angle of mirror is incorrectly rendered, full face but at wrong angle for the position the mirror is at. Mirror is placed in hand as device to justify act of looking at herself. So others can enjoy the nudity, vanity and mirror placed there to distract from the fact she is naked.
Device used in contemporary advertising.

Drawn to most sexual part of body from the position she is sat in. Allowed to look at this because the mirror again is used as a way to distract as it looks like she is immersed at looking at herself.

Birth of Venus 1863
Women as a goddess from the sea supported on a wave and looked over by cherubs. Position she is reclined in, covering her eyes and face. Body vs head, picture is taken up by body itself, focussing on the body again, not on her as a person. Viewer to be unchallenged.

Opium advert
Reclined figure. 3/4 of picture taken up by body, much more sexual pose. Hand on breasts more contemporary. Advert was too sexual, turn image round, made it less sexual and different emphasis. Eye drawn to head instead of just the body and the position. Composition can change a lot.

Titans Venus of urbino
Head turned looking up, knowledge of viewers present but still not wanting the focus to be on the face. Covers herself with hand, in a casual way.

Compared to Manet Olympia - first look very similar painting, hand is more pressed against body in a defensive way. Prostitute, flower in hair, neck tie, wealthy, flowers refers to gifts.
Head position is lifted as though she has acknowledged the viewer and is presenting to them.

Ingres Le grand odalisque
Basis of poster - guerrilla girls
Wanted to be used on buses and billboards but was objected because it was ambiguous - item in hand has sexual connotation.

Manet bar at the follies bergeres
Mirroring of gaze,
women stood at bar, ready to serve, arms open. Reflection of the back of the women's body, in reality back reflection would be behind her not at the side. Shows a different version of her. Viewer is placed at the other side of bar, the second version of her would be serving us. False social perception - everything is mirrored.

Jeff wall.
Copies figure of women by using is in his painting, includes himself stood next to her. Photography studio reflected in the mirror. Camera is the equipment in the middle of painting, placed exact in middle, divides picture into 3 by mirror. Everything draws us to the studio by the background.

Coward R
City in background carriers on without taking any outside of her. Nudity on the street, where it isn't noticed. This is as a male view, but in reality women constantly think about this. Women can't see us because of the glasses she wears, makes okay for us to look at her. 

Eva Herzegovina
Hello boys - traffic stopping campaign.
Idea of figure looking down on us, nudity on the street. The tag line lightens the implication. Giant naked women for voyeurism ideas

Coward R
Peeping tom
Looks a women when undressing. Voyeurism leads him to seek the image of the women as he kills her, films her death.

Same idea as the women, in the position, with him looking away so it's okay for people to look at him.
Gender ads website.
Dr scott Lucas - male bodies are treated in this way, but there is much more women naked body in society. Number ads in this section were so small, only 60 ads of naked males in this position.

Active manor, cult of fitness, male body is powerhouse. All males looking back at the viewer as though they are saying 'I know you are looking at me'

Study to look at how female bodies were looked a in the 50s and 60s movies.

How camera breaks female body in the films, broken down to components. Nude body will be dismantled.

Cinema is perfect voyeurist environment, you can look and nobody can tell because it is in the dark. Pleasure in looking is shown as a active male and inactive posing female.

Action character. Men often lead the story in 50-60. Women are an accessory, just something there to look at, whereas Lara croft is the main actor and leads the story, but still she is a visual spectacle. Overalls sexualised, still a pleasure to look at. Fantasy that can create from this character.

Artemisia gentileschi
Women are portrayed in a way that challenges the gaze.
Painting by a women, portrays women in a active and graphic manner. Physical look to the scene, alternative characterisation to the female role.

Pollock G
- Women ‘marginalised within the masculine discourses of art history’
- This marginalisation supports the ‘hegemony of men in cultural practice, in art’
- Women not only marginalised but supposed to be marginalised

Candy Sherman
Interesting because when talks about work, she says it isn't anything to do with the gaze. But still looks like it is.
Body turned and looking away from viewer, emphasis is on the characters face, covering up the body, cannot look for pleasure, mirror is facing away from viewer, no reflection of her. This disrupts the gaze as you can't tell what is going on. The hand placed on the face is in a awkward placement, can tell it is purposely placed there to try and distract and move it away from the gaze.

- Shows awareness of art history, acknowledge art history in there work

Barbara Kruger.
Using text in work, collage  within work, figure turning away. Text refers to violence of hitting face. Made out looking is more than a harmless a act.

Sarah Lucas
Implies sexual act. Self consciousness of the act, which could be felt whilst doing an everyday thing. How things could be seen as sexual even though they aren't. Look on face is very confrontational. Asking the viewer what there problem is?

Eggs reference breasts and small breasts.

Tracey Emin
Pictures herself stuffing money inside her. Vulgar to make money from art.

Gaze in the media

Amanda Knox trial
Joan smith writes article about the trial. Writes how was described in court. Referred to being a witch, which refers to her to being distressed, this article is written about her:
" The idea that women are natural liars has a long pedigree. The key document in this centuries-long tradition is the notorious witch-hunter's manual, the Malleus Maleficarum or The Hammer of Witches, which was commissioned by Pope Innocent VIII. The book was written by two Dominican monks and published in 1486. It unleashed a flood of irrational beliefs about women's "dual" nature. "A woman is beautiful to look upon, contaminating to the touch, and deadly to keep," the authors warned. They also claimed that "all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable".

It's not difficult to see these myths lurking behind Pacelli's description of Knox: "She was a diabolical, satantic, demonic she-devil. She was muddy on the outside and dirty on the inside. She has two souls, the clean one you see before you and the other." The lawyer's claim that she was motivated by "lust" could have come straight from the Malleus, which insists that women are more "carnal" than men"

Misrepresent the trial. Amanda Knox is seen as looking stunned. This was a mistake, article was prepared as two stories for each outcome and the image used was for the wrong story. This was then tried to made right with the headlines.

"The Daily Mail has emerged as the major fall guy by mistakenly publishing the wrong online version of the Amanda Knox verdict.
Knox won her appeal, but the paper's website initially carried a story headlined "Guilty: Amanda Knox looks stunned as appeal against murder conviction is rejected.”
The Mail was not the only British news outlet to make the error. The Sun and Sky News did it too and yes - hands up here - so did The Guardian in its live blog.
It would appear that a false translation of the judge's summing up caused the problem, leading to papers jumping the gun.
So why has the Mail suffered the greatest flak? In time-honoured fashion, echoing the hot metal days of Fleet Street, it prepared a story lest the verdict go the other way.
But it over-egged the pudding by inventing "colour" that purported to reveal Knox's reaction along with the responses of people in the court room.
It even included quotes from prosecutors that were, self-evidently, totally fake.
In other words, by publishing its standby story, the Mail exposed itself as guilty of fabrication."
- Article basically saying the article that was released was made up and none was true because the wrong story was released, so tried to make it relevant to the trial.

Image is a strong message behind it, but no author to the image. This is to represent the gaze in media and how males see women. But this does actually reflect what women think about themselves and how they should act from the way males think about them.

Susan Sontag 'On Photography'
'To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed'
The act of photographing is more than passive observing. Like sexual voyeurism, it is a way of at least tacitly, often explicitly, encouraging what is going on to keep on happening'

There is a demand for this type of imagery as they want to put images out of celebrities not looking there best or looking there best because the media hypes up celebrities and how they are looked at from the public. There is an impact on images like this to the celebrities as in the case for princess Diana she was seen as being killed.

Reality tv
- Appears to offer us the position as the all-seeing eye- the power of the gaze
- Allows us a voyeuristic passive consumption of a type of reality
- Editing means that there is no reality
- Contestants are aware of their representation (either as TV professionals or as people who have watched the show)

The Truman show
An investigation for him to see what his life is like and he realises that his life is a show and everything that has happened to him is staged.

Big brother
This shows the truth. You get to see what the female and males are actually like, you them in there true form and there naked self.

"Looking is not indifferent. There can never be any question of 'just looking'. " 
Victor Burgin 1982

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